Owning Electric Cars Could Get Easier

June 12th, 2014

Tesla Supercharger

The biggest challenge in owning an electric car is getting it recharged. Charging a battery takes a lot longer than filling a gas tank, and there are far fewer places to recharge than refuel.

For the people who use electric cars just to commute from home to work and back, recharging every night at home is enough.

For people who want to use their electric vehicles as replacements for gas-powered cars, EVs just haven’t proven useful enough to convince people to jump ship.

Elon Musk, the infamous Tesla CEO, wants to change that.

Musk had the realization that gas stations aren’t specific to automakers. For example, there aren’t Ford- or Chevy-only filling stations, because that would be an absurd strategy. That’s in contrast to the Tesla model of building an infrastructure of Tesla-only recharging stations called Supercharger stations.

There are 94 Supercharger stations across the U.S. and 20 in Europe. As it stands now, only Tesla cars can access them. Musk, however, is pondering the idea of releasing his patents so other automakers can build cars capable of using the stations.

A recent article said,

Musk lamented at the fact that many automakers are doing the bare minimum in terms of developing environmentally-responsible vehicles, and that’s likely because they’re being forced into it with progressively heightened regulations. He expressed that he didn’t want Superchargers to become a “walled garden” that could only be used for Teslas, and this opportunity might encourage others to join in, since they would be taking on less risk as the technology has already been proven to work.

It makes a lot of sense to have one consistent charging network across the world. Having the infrastructure in place would help immensely in convincing the masses to migrate to electric cars. That would lead to more new-car sales and then a robust used market for electrics.

Tesla has done a beautiful job of building and marketing its vehicle. Now it needs to build a market in which its cars can thrive.

If there were a consistent charging network that all electric vehicles could use, would you be more likely to buy one?

-tgriffith

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